I met EJ Vazquez nearly a decade ago when I started booking his old pop punk band, When We Scream Hero, at Stars and Scars shows. Imagine my excitement in discovering that he is still writing music today. Funeral Beds, EJ’s solo project, can be found on Soundcloud.
Upon first listen, Funeral Beds’ EP offerings remind me of Owen and Widower – two wonderfully chill, favored singer-songwriters of mine. “Standing Still” is an ethereal track that begs to be played on a dark summer night drive with the windows down. EJ’s heartfelt, crackly voice over his acoustic guitar mourns a letdown, perhaps by a former lover or close friend. This short song left me wanting more as the next track “Sleeping In” began. “Can we turn off the lights tonight?” EJ drowsily asks before launching into a louder, more emotional vocal, reminiscent of early Dashboard Confessional records. The song closes with a certain softness before the final track “Another Day” kicks off, which sounds like a continuation of the former. However, the injection of a few high “ooh ooh’s” help the track stand out from the others in a rather cohesive collection.
What I love the most about Funeral Beds is how tenderly EJ combines elements from bands I loved as a teenager and still listen to today. The EP feels nostalgic in the best way, reminding me that a sometimes sad yet often vibrant emo girl still lives within. Thank you, EJ, for bringing the past into the present.
(Note that Funeral Beds’ full length will soon be released! You may see more songs on Soundcloud than are mentioned in this review for that reason.)